-- As part of a 55-year-old University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign tradition, students brighten up the Christmas holiday by singing carols to callers for an entire week.
Dial-A-Carol is a University program that is open around the clock for one week.
When someone calls the group, a volunteer will answer and ask for the caller's name and location, and once the caller chooses what song they want to hear, the volunteer will pull up the lyrics and sing.
Paul Wojdacz, a first-year Dial-A-Carol volunteer, told ABC News that the team works hard to make sure there’s never a request they can’t fulfill. They have a song library that’s 79 pages thick, and if a volunteer doesn’t know the words already, they will look the lyrics up or grab someone who does know the song. The volunteers don't have the voice of a rock star, and tunes might be pitchy, but the amateur performances are bursting with holiday cheer.
The volunteers are mostly students who take time out of their busy final exam schedules to spread the holiday spirit. Wojdacz said, the best part is that volunteers and callers vary in their faiths and beliefs—no one is excluded from the joy that being serenaded over the phone brings.
As of this writing, Dial-A-Carol’s team has taken over 9,000 calls, surpassing last year’s total of almost 7,000 calls. It took just 14 hours for Dial-A-Carol to receive calls from all 50 states, and the calls don’t stop at the U.S. border—so far this year, over four dozen countries from across the globe have dialed in to hear a carol.
The Dial-A-Carol phone lines will be open until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16.